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Paul Newman : a life
Shawn Levy
Adult Nonfiction PN2287.N44 L48 2009

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Film critic and biographer Levy (Rat Pack Confidential) embarks on a respectful, thoroughgoing survey of Newman's long life (1925-2008) and massive film career without lingering on emotional and psychological factors. A kind of accidental hero, Newman recognized that his blue-eyed good looks would open doors for him, but by sheer determination and work ethic he muscled his way to the Olympian heights of America's finest actors. Born to middle-class Jewish parents in Shaker Heights, Ohio, he eventually enlisted in the navy then attended Kenyon College on the GI Bill; his early first marriage and dabbling in theater seemed to be a way to avoid having to return home and take over his father's sporting-goods store. He enrolled in Yale's drama department, then in 1952 gave himself a year in New York to prove himself: he hustled small, paying parts and gradually became a part of the Actors Studio, where he claimed to have learned everything he knew about acting. From then on, using his connections shrewdly, he moved from success on Broadway (Picnic, where he met Joanne Woodward, whom he married in 1958) to TV (Our Town) and Hollywood (Somebody Up There Likes Me). From there, the professional accolades began piling up, while Levy also chronicles Newman's stunning success as a race-car driver, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Levy doesn't shy from discussing Newman's shortcomings as a father and husband, yet he leaves a glowing assessment of this legend's career. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

Veteran film critic Levy (Rat Pack Confidential; The Last Playboy: The High Life of Porfirio Rubirosa) presents the most illuminating biography of Paul Newman to date. Levy covers Newman's 50-year career, but it is his personal life that may prove most revelatory: according to the author, Newman was a functioning alcoholic, had a long affair that nearly ruined his marriage, and was estranged from his only son, Scott-who died of an overdose. Nevertheless, Newman's marriage endured and he parlayed his celebrity into a long career as an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Verdict: A fitting-albeit dry-homage to a life fully lived. This respectful yet revelatory biography of a movie legend is highly recommended for fans of the actor and anyone who loves a thorough celebrity bio.-Rosellen Brewer, Sno-Isle Libs., Marysville, WA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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